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Harrow native is an OUA MVP in baseball


Photos courtesy of Nik Motruk: Harrow native Nik Motruk steps in to the batters’ box during the 2019 OUA Baseball season. Motruk recently earned MVP honours as well as 1st team all-star honours. 

by Garrett Fodor

One local athlete is crediting his small town for helping him earn his latest accolade. 

  Growing up in Harrow, Nik Motruk never imagined he would play Ontario University Athletics baseball for McMaster University, let alone get recognized as an outstanding player. Now, three years into his University tenure, the outfielder earned MVP honours along with a first team all-star nod. 

  He began his career as a pitcher, throwing for the Marauders, until he got hurt. Motruk said that he is unable to throw without pain, which forced him to move his position to the outfield. He credits growing up in a small town for helping make the transition seamless.

  “I was lucky that I was from a small town. Just last year I injured my shoulder and I can no longer pitch,” Motruk said. “If I wasn’t from a small town, I’d have just been a pitcher and I’d be done baseball. We only had enough guys to field a team, so I was able to pitch and play positionally. So, [in] transitioning, I had the experience.”

  Motruk began playing baseball in Harrow until he reached bantam. As this age-division was not available in his hometown, he made the switch to the Essex Yellow Jackets after interacting with coach Wayne Nevin. He played under Nevin for five-years, earning three championships. Mortruk credits Nevin for sparking his baseball career and he believes if he didn’t come to Essex, he would not know if it would be possible to reach these honours.

  Adam Strongman, Head Coach for McMaster Baseball, said Motruk exceeded expectations and grew as a leader for his team.

  “Since joining the team, Nik had an impact on the team every year with leadership,” Strongman said. “As he matured through his years at school, I challenged him last year to become more of a vocal leader for the team. He has led the team by his work ethic, emotion, and confidence, but having him perform in the manner he did was outstanding.”

  Motruk had an exceptional year where he had a batting average of .581 with 12 extra base hits, 25 RBIs and had a slugging percentage of .930. He also scored 17 runs for his team during their OUA season. 

  After being eliminated in the semi-finals of the OUA baseball tournament the weekend prior, Motruk and his McMaster team appeared in the Inaugural Canadian University National Baseball Tournament that was held October 18-20. The team made it to the semi-finals before losing to the University of Guelph in extra-innings. 

  Motruk is currently in the engineering and management program. He has two more years that he is eligible to play and hopes to continue to play and hit new heights with his teammates. He said he believes they’ll be OUA and National Champions soon. 

  He added that he is thankful to Coach Nevin, his parents, and everyone back home in Harrow and Essex who have supported him on his journey thus far.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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